Display screen equipment Issue 7 – November 2017. This procedure is currently under review.

Issue 7 – November 2017


Hampshire County Council intends to reduce the health risks to employees and others who use Display Screen Equipment (DSE) by providing proper monitoring, training and suitable equipment. It will ensure risk assessments are used to identify where action needs to be taken to reduce risks, so far as is reasonably practicable. Hampshire County Council will comply with the Health and Safety (Display Screen Equipment) Regulations.


This procedure includes the use of any display screen equipment and the associated workstations. It applies to anyone who habitually uses display screen equipment. The procedure will look at:

  • Workstation/equipment set-up
  • Risk assessment
  • Three types of display screen equipment used in Hampshire County Council to cover:
    • Fixed work
    • Flexible work
    • Field work

This procedure replaces all previous corporate policies and procedures relating to display screen equipment


Display Screen Equipment – Display Screen Equipment (DSE) is any device or equipment that has an alphanumeric or graphic display screen, regardless of the display process involved; it includes both conventional display screens and those used in laptops, touch-screens and other similar devices.

Workstation – the whole assembly of DSE including accessories such as telephone, printer, document holder, desk, chair, footrest and other furniture plus the immediate work environment.

User – a person who habitually uses DSE as significant part of their normal work, and all or most of the following apply:
  • normally uses the DSE continuously for periods of an hour or more (excluding breaks)
  • uses it this way more or less every working day
  • has no discretion over the use of the DSE
  • has to transfer information quickly to and from the screen
  • needs to use high levels of attention and concentration

Fixed work – person who spends most of their time working at a desk, with little need to “roam” or work offline.

Flexible work – generally office based, but will move from location to location as workload demands.

Field work – spends more than half their time away from an office.

See also Appendix 2


Workstation/equipment set-up

Computer workstations or equipment can be associated with neck, shoulder, back or arm pain, as well as with fatigue and eyestrain. That doesn't mean that DSE work is risky – it isn't. Upper Limb Disorders (ULDs) can be avoided if users follow effective practice, set up their workstations properly and take regular breaks during prolonged use. By just taking a few simple precautions, work with DSE can be more comfortable and productive.

Any successful use of display screen equipment starts with the set-up of the workstation as this will ensure ongoing effective use and at the same time minimize discomfort to the user.

Reasonable adjustments

Employers have a responsibility under the Equality Act 2010 to be flexible and make ‘reasonable adjustments’ for individuals with disabilities to enable them to do their jobs. Many reasonable adjustments are simple, inexpensive and ultimately benefit the organisation as well as the individual. They can include the provision of specialist equipment and can be temporary or permanent.

Funding through access to work may help to contribute towards covering the costs associated with some reasonable adjustments.


Before starting work for the first time all display screen equipment users must complete the e-learning which will guide them through the process for using display screen equipment and correctly setting up their workstation.

E-learning can be found following this link: DSE e-learning.

It is strongly recommended that the e-learning be repeated at regular intervals (to be determined locally by departments, e.g. annually) to ensure staff are reminded of their responsibilities.

Risk assessment

The Health and Safety (Display Screen Equipment) Regulations 1992 (as amended) aim to protect the health of people who work with DSE and require workstations to be risk-assessed prior to work starting at them and individual assessments may then need to be carried out to ensure local and individual requirements are addressed. Risk assessments may also need to be carried out in response to changes in working practices or whenever there is reason to believe they are no longer valid, such as after an incident or reports of ill health.

Risk assessments must always be reviewed on a regular basis.

Any risk assessments will initially be carried out by local department DSE assessors. Training is available from The Learning Zone by following this link: DSE Assessor Training.

Only after all avenues have been exhausted, and only if an unresolved DSE issue remains should a copy of the completed DSE assessment form be sent to your Department Health & Safety Teams for further advice.

Process for undertaking a DSE assessment

Please see Appendix 1 for guidance on how to complete a DSE risk assessment.

Shared workstations

Note: where areas in offices are designated for shared workstations, managers responsible need to ensure that the furniture for the work stations is as flexible as possible, including use of adjustable height desks where needed, and also meet the minimum standards required by law.


Working with VDUs – this leaflet will help explain what you, as an employer, may need to do to protect your employees from any risks associated with DSE.

Work with display screen equipment – this publication gives comprehensive guidance on work with display screens

Access to Work

DSE e-learning


Appendix 1 - Assessment

Appendix 2 - Type of worker

Download full procedure

Download the full corporate DSE procedure.